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Old Glock guy

GFH Urban Shotgun 1

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Thought I would continue the tradition started by The Wombat of posting a class review. Seven of us showed up for this, toting a variety of firearms. I had my Mossberg 500 (50577), which is a pretty basic model. A few had 590's, there was a Remington or two, and one guy even had a really cool, tricked out Benelli semi-auto. Here's the course description from the GFH website:



Urban Shotgun Course Level 1 The shotgun is considered to be one of the best if not thee best close quarter’s weapons you can use. While most everyone has a Shotgun in their inventory, most owners never receive the proper training in how to employ the Shotgun in a close quarter environment. The course will cover proper use of the shotgun in a close quarter’s environment. The course will start out with the basics and then progress into high level shooting drills. The class will culminate with a live fire building search scenario. Upon successful completion of this course the student will have a better understanding of how to employ a Shotgun and how critical it can be in a close quarters shooting incident.


Topics Covered to include, Proper Stance, Grip and Recoil Management Administration Loading and Unloading Proper Ready Positions and Carrying Techniques Round Selection and Patterning Tactical Reloads/Combat Reloads Ammunition Change Over Immediate Action Drills-Malfunct​ions Different Shooting Positions Multiple Targets Multiple Threats Shooting On the Move Shooting From Behind Cover Gear selection and placement Building Search Techniques with the Shotgun


Equipment Required: Shotgun, sling, Pistol, Belt mounted holster for the pistol, 50 Rounds Pistol, 75 Rounds of trap Shot, 50 Rounds 00 Buckshot, 20 Rounds of Slugs, Ammunition holders (side saddle, belt pouch). Strongly recommend a dump pouch to carry additional rounds to the firing line. Eye and ear protection.


With Joe and Chuck providing the usual outstanding instruction, the class boasted a student/instructor ratio of 7 to 2.

So we all got plenty of hands on instruction, which was particularly important, because most of us were shotgun novices. Anyone who has taken some shotgun training will tell you that the biggest challenge is keeping the weapon fed. Unlike HG's or AR's where one need only slap in a new mag to reload, the SG requires one to be constantly feeding it shells. This challenge was never more apparent than on the movement drills, when we were shooting while walking or running, and trying to remember to reload after each engagement.


As usual, it was quite entertaining to hear Joe and Chuck shouting at us, "Feed that thing! Feed thing!" I especially loved it when Joe yelled a couple of times while some of us were fumbling with ammo, "Wait, timeout! Stop the gunfight while he/she reloads!"


All was going well until I noticed a bit of discomfort in my left hand while shooting weakside from behind cover, as if something was bumping into me. When I finished shooting, I looked down to see my hand covered in blood. It seems the hook from my new sling had torn up a bit of skin. Luckily, Joe is well trained in first aid, so he quickly had me bandaged up and back in class.


The four hours of class flew by, and we all came away with a much better understanding of the intricacies of this weapon system. For anyone who has a shotgun for HD, I would strongly recommend this class.

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Thanks! We did not do any specific malfunction drills, and I did not observe any malfunctions when we were on the firing line, but some people may have encountered some glitches during our movement drills. They strongly recommended a single point sling, both for the class and for home defense, so you can drop the shotgun and go to a secondary weapon like a handgun. They were particularly fond of the Magpul sling. The one that had a sharp edge that cut my hand was a Blackhawk, although the injury may have had more to do with the position of my hand than with the sling itself.

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OK, two requests for an ammo count, and since I don't usually track that very closely, I went home to do a tally. I went through 75 rounds of target ammo, 25 rounds of buckshot (although some of that could have been target ammo, had I not run out of it), around 15 slugs, and a couple of mags of HG ammo (20 rounds). So my advice would be to bring around 100 rounds of target ammo (trap shot), one 25 round box of 00 buckshot, 20 slugs, and no more than a box of HG ammo. And you will definitely need a sling, not just for the training, but mostly as a way to hold your shotgun when you're not shooting.


As for the price, it was $225, which IMHO was well worth it; and the class was given at the Essex County Police Range in Cedar Grove, just off Route 23.

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